Ask the ExpertCategory: QuestionsPaid time off for COVID-19 Vaccinations
hri_Admin Staff asked 1 year ago

My employer (BC) is considering a paid time off policy for employees to get their vaccination. Are there any special considerations we should take into account? Are there any sample policies floating around you know of?

2 Answers
Glenn Demby Staff answered 1 year ago

Funny you should ask. We just wrote extensively on this topic a couple of weeks ago. As you may know, Sask adopted paid COVID vaccination leave (3 hours) and there’s talk of BC’s doing the same. If you can’t find the two pieces on the HRI site, let me know and I’ll gmail them to you. glennd@bongarde.com.  As for the last part of the question, no, I haven’t seen any paid vaccination leave policy but I’ll look around. That’s something we should probably include as part of the HRI service. Hope that helps. Glenn

Glenn Demby Staff answered 1 year ago

Here’s a Model Policy we just created, thanks to your inspiration, for paid vaccination leave. Hope it helps.
Employee Right to Paid COVID-19 Vaccination Leave Interim Policy

  1. PURPOSE

ABC Company believes that the new COVID-19 vaccinations are safe and effective and strongly encourages all employees to receive it, especially those who work in close contact with patients, clients, customers, co-workers or are otherwise at high risk of coronavirus infection. At the same time, the Company recognizes that vaccination appointments are difficult to obtain and that it might be necessary to schedule them during working hours. Accordingly, we have adopted this Policy to ensure that employees do not have to sacrifice any of their wages, vacation or paid sick days to receive the vaccination.

  1. POLICY

ABC Company employees will be entitled to paid leave of up to 3 hours per injection to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. This leave covers up to 2 injections per employee. Pay will be at the employee’s regular rate of pay and shall not be charged against the employee’s entitled vacation, sick or any other leave.

  1. NOTIFICATION & VERIFICATION

Employees must notify their supervisor of their intent to use this COVID-19 vaccination leave and the time and date of their vaccination appointment as soon as possible. ABC Company reserves the right to request that employees provide verification of their appointments before taking leave and of having actually received the vaccination afterwards. Failure to provide such verification may be grounds for treating the missed time as unpaid rather than paid leave.

  1. POTENTIAL EXTENSION

Employees may request ABC Company to extend their paid COVID-19 vaccination leave if they suffer adverse health effects from or encounter unforeseen circumstances or delays in receiving the vaccination, such as unusually long lines or appointments in faraway and remote locations. Extension requests must be submitted to the HR Department and ABC reserves the right to accept or decline them at its sole discretion.

  1. NON-RETALIATION

ABC Company will not discharge, threaten, penalize or in any other manner discriminate or retaliate against any employee for exercising their rights under this Policy, including but not limited to requesting or obtaining a leave of absence to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

  1. DURATION

This is an interim Policy that ABC Company may revoke at any time at its sole discretion, such to its obligations under [province] employment standards and other applicable laws and collective agreements.